The judges of the 9th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival have announced this year's award winning films in the four competitive categories: Best Feature, Big Sky Award, Best Short Film and Best Mini Doc (under 15 minutes). The awards were announced Thursday evening at a ceremony at The Loft in downtown Missoula. Each category winner will receive $500, courtesy of The Documentary Channel.
This year's jury included Yance Ford of POV, Amy Shatsky-Gambrill of Independent Lens, Ben Fowlie of The Camden International Film Festival, Reva Goldberg of Cinereach, and filmmakers Marshall Curry, Beth Harrington and Caveh Zahedi.
At a reception sponsored by the Documentary Channel, the jury announced the following awards:
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
The Best Feature prize was awarded to Jeff Orlowski of CHASING ICE, about National Geographic environmental photographer James Balog. Jurors Amy Shattsky and Ben Fowlie called the film an extremely timely and important documentary about one man's journey to demonstrate global warming in action by photographing the recession of the glaciers. Touching, terrifying and informative, we feel the highs, lows, frustrations and joys of the ultimate success of his experiment. Through a patient and thoughtful filmmaking approach, the director vividly captures the power and awe of the glaciers falling apart. As they recede into the ocean, the glaciers cry out, warning us of the peril that our planet is in.
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Reva Goldberg and Caveh Zahedi awarded the Short Film prize to Matt Leigh's BLUE RINSE, a sweet observational film set in a Dublin hair salon. They also awarded an Artistic Vision Award to KUDZU VINE by Josh Gibson.
Yance Ford awarded the Mini Doc awarded to MR SMITHS PEACH SEEDS, Stewart Copelands beautifully realized portrait of Tennessee folk artist Roger Smith.
BIG SKY AWARD
Brian Bolster's film THE LOOKOUT received the Big Sky Award, presented by filmmakers Marshall Curry and Beth Harrington. In addition, Audrey Hall's film about portrait artist Hugh Wilson was give an Artistic Excellence Award.
All awarded films will re-screen the final weekend of the festival. The Awards Screenings will take place in the Wilma Theatre, February 25 & 26. The schedule for this weekend's screenings is as follows:
Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 pm
THE LOOKOUT, Brian Bolster, 16 min.
PAINTING JOHN, Audrey Hall,10 min.
KUDZU VINE, Josh Gibson, 20 min.
BLUE RINSE, Matt Leigh, 16 min.
MR SMITHS PEACH SEEDS, Stewart Copeland, 11 min.
Sunday, February 26 at 8:00 pm
CHASING ICE, Jeff Orlowski, 71 min.
A special encore presentation of MARINA ABRAMOVIC THE ARTIST IS PRESENT
Thanks to the overwhelming response from audiences, Big Sky will rescreen some of the most popular films at the festival in several screening blocks set aside on Sunday, February 26 at the Crystal Theater and The Wilma. The films selected to rescreen, determined by attendance and general buzz, are as follows:
Sunday, February 26 @ the Crystal Theater
11:15 am ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR & PIANO PAT
1:15 pm SING YOUR SONG
3:15 pm CALVET
5:15 pm CRAZY HORSE
11:00 am PIANOMANIA
1:00 pm TALES OF THE WARIA & KEVIN
3:00 pm LADS & JOCKEYS
5:00 pm BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN
In the final weekend of the festival, All Screen Passes will be available at a discounted price of $75. Passes may be purchased at the Wilma box office.
For more information about the festival or to see a full schedule, visit www.bigskyfilmfest.org.